How to reference a journal article in Harvard style

In Harvard style, to reference a journal article, you need the author name(s), the year, the article title, the journal name, the volume and issue numbers, and the page range on which the article appears.

If you accessed the article online, add a DOI (digital object identifier) if available.

In-text citation example (Poggiolesi, 2016)
Reference template Author surname, initial. (Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), pp. page range. doi:DOI.
Reference example Poggiolesi, F. (2016) ‘On defining the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding’, Synthese, 193(10), pp. 3147–3167. doi:10.1007/s11229-015-0923-x.

Online-only journal articles

To reference an online journal article with no print version, always include the DOI if available. No access date is necessary with a DOI. Note that a page range may not be available for online-only articles; in this case, simply leave it out, as in this example.

Harvard referencing: Online-only journal article
Template Author surname, initial. (Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), pp. page range. doi:DOI.
Example Happ-Kurz, C. (2020) ‘Object-oriented software for functional data’, Journal of Statistical Software, 93(5). doi:10.18637/jss.v093.i05.

Online-only article with no DOI

When you need to reference an online-only article which doesn’t have a DOI, use a URL instead – preferably the stable URL often listed with the article. In this case, you do need to include an access date.

Harvard referencing: Online-only article with no DOI
Template Author surname, initial. (Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), pp. page range. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).
Example Horowitz, E. (2006) ‘George Eliot: The conservative’, Victorian Studies, 49(1), pp. 7–32. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4618949 (Accessed: 14 May 2020).

Note that if an online article has no DOI but does have a print equivalent, you don’t need to include a URL. The details of the print journal should be enough for the reader to locate the article.

Articles with multiple authors

Journal articles often have multiple authors. In both your in-text citations and reference list, list up to three authors in full. Use the first author’s name followed by ‘et al.’ when there are four or more.

In-text citation Reference list
1 author (Smith, 2014) Smith, T. (2014) …
2 authors (Smith and Jones, 2014) Smith, T. and Jones, F. (2014) …
3 authors (Smith, Jones and Davies, 2014) Smith, T., Jones, F. and Davies, S. (2014) …
4+ authors (Smith et al., 2014) Smith, T. et al. (2014) …

Referencing a whole issue of a journal

When you want to reference an entire issue of a journal instead of an individual article, you list the issue editor(s) in the author position and give the title of the issue (if available) rather than of an individual article.

Harvard referencing: Whole issue of a journal
Template Editor surname, initial. (ed.) (Year) ‘Issue title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue). doi:DOI.
Example Goldstein, D. M. and Drybread, K. (eds.) (2018) ‘The social life of corruption in Latin America’, Culture, Theory and Critique, 59(4).

Referencing a preprint journal article

When you reference an article that’s been accepted for publication but not yet published, the format changes to acknowledge this.

Harvard referencing: Preprint issue of a journal
Template Author surname, initial. (Year) ‘Article title’. To be published in Journal Name [Preprint]. doi:DOI or Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).
Example Jeon, I., Lee, K. and Park, J.-H. (2018) ‘Ramond-Ramond cohomology and O(D,D) T-duality’. To be published in Journal of High Energy Physics [Preprint]. Available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.3478 (Accessed: 14 May 2020).

If it’s unknown where or whether the article will be published, omit this information:

Harvard referencing: Unknown publishing status
Example Le Bras, P. et al. (2020) ‘Visualising COVID-19 research’ [Preprint]. Available at: https://arxiv.org/abs/2005.06380 (Accessed: 14 May 2020).

Frequently asked questions about referencing journal articles in Harvard style

How do I cite a source with multiple authors in Harvard style?

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘et al.

In-text citation Reference list
1 author (Smith, 2014) Smith, T. (2014) …
2 authors (Smith and Jones, 2014) Smith, T. and Jones, F. (2014) …
3 authors (Smith, Jones and Davies, 2014) Smith, T., Jones, F. and Davies, S. (2014) …
4+ authors (Smith et al., 2014) Smith, T. et al. (2014) …

 

When should I include page numbers in a Harvard in-text citation?

In Harvard style, when you quote directly from a source that includes page numbers, your in-text citation must include a page number. For example: (Smith, 2014, p. 33).

You can also include page numbers to point the reader towards a passage that you paraphrased. If you refer to the general ideas or findings of the source as a whole, you don’t need to include a page number.

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

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